Roundtable: WWE No Mercy 2016

The Wrestledelphia staff talks about various storylines going into the SmackDown pay-per-view.

Which wrestler in the main event (AJ Styles, John Cena or Dean Ambrose) has been the most intriguing in the build to the match?

John Corrigan: Heading into Backlash, Ambrose was lame with his goofy cowboy hat and incessant ball busting. Heading into No Mercy, however, the Lunatic Fringe has freshened up by throwing shade back at Cena and focusing on regaining the title. It goes to show that Ambrose is an underdog best served as the challenger rather than the champion.

Evan Cross: Although Styles has flourished on the mic ever since SummerSlam and Cena is fresher now that he’s never a lock to win a big match, Ambrose has been the star of this feud. He’s been able to contrast his gritty likeability with the clean-cut Cena and the smug Styles, bringing out both sides of the tweener character that fits Ambrose the best.

David Gibb: Dean Ambrose. He’s in a three-man feud with two men who are much more complete main-eventers than him. “Stepping up his game” has looked a lot like being whiny and defensive, though, so Sunday will be a definitive moment for him, whatever his involvement in the finish.

Mark Macyk: John Cena, who is finally coming terms with the fact that all mountains eventually crumble into the sea and he will die someday.

How likely is it that Dolph Ziggler will lose his match vs. The Miz and then retire? Give a percent chance and explain it.

Corrigan: 70 percent. In kayfabe, Ziggler has been struggling for months and this would be the ultimate payoff. In real life, Ziggler has been wasted time and time again, and his chance to be “the man” has passed as evidenced by the lack of believability in his SummerSlam title challenge. Maybe DZ looks at Cody Rhodes, Wade Barrett and Ryback and realizes leaving WWE isn’t such a career ender.

Cross: 40 percent. Loser leaves town matches are rare in this era, where there isn’t anywhere else comparable to WWE for the loser to go. Although there are a lot of signs that Ziggler will hang up his boots – the biggest being that his opponent is one of his closest friends outside the ring – I still think this is a big swerve to get us invested in the Show-Off again.

Gibb: 0 percent. Ziggler can’t quit the wrestling business. He has so much belief in his ability to be a top star; I don’t think he’ll walk away until it happens (or he destroys his body and spirit trying).

Macyk: 100 percent. There was a story arc on Total Divas last year in which Dolph Ziggler tried to steal Nikki Bella from John Cena by giving Nicole the one thing John is incapable of – a child. Now, faced with his inevitable death and no male heir, “The Face that Runs the Place” is ensuring he will not be cuckolded by demanding creative write Ziggler off the same week that Nikki’s sister announces her pregnancy. This was telegraphed on Tuesday when the Spirit Squad called Dolph “Nick,” which is his character’s name on Total Divas.

Does Bray Wyatt need to win his match to stay believable as a top heel?

Corrigan: Bray Wyatt needed to win his match against Cena at WrestleMania XXX to be believable as a top heel. Owens and Styles both beat Cena, and look at them now. As in the case with a Ziggler main event run, it’s too little, too late for big, bad Bray.

Cross: As good as SmackDown has been since the brand split, Wyatt has been just as boring as ever. He needs more than a win to stay at the top of the card – he needs a character change or alteration. As much as I’ve always hated the idea of Sister Abigail becoming a live character, it can’t hurt at this point.

Gibb: Wait, we’re taking for granted that Bray Wyatt is believable as a top heel? Kidding aside, yes. This is a lose-lose proposition overall. Both men need to win too badly, much like Orton’s match with Lesnar at SummerSlam.

Macyk: Sister Abigail should debut before the match, but it’s just Bray Wyatt in a wig doing a Mrs. Doubtfire voice. Randy Orton doesn’t realize it’s Bray though. Then for some reason Orton’s wife hires Sister Abigail to be the family’s nanny. Sister Abigail keeps the house very tidy and the Ortons begin to love her as if she was their own creepy older sister. Then, when the audience least suspects it, Sister Abigail shoot murders the kids. Instant heel heat.

Which match are you most looking forward to?

Corrigan: The main event has three exciting possibilities: Ambrose turns heel, Styles pins Cena again, or Cena ties Ric Flair’s record and I drive off a cliff.

Cross: The main event will be good, and should mostly take place after the presidential debate ends. But I’ll mute The Trump Show for the Miz-Ziggler match. No matter what happens, they will pull out all the stops.

Gibb: Styles, Cena, and Ambrose. Every pay-per-view match Styles has had in the WWE has been can’t miss. Cena is at such a crossroads in his career that everything he does is inherently interesting. Ambrose is hitting the make-or-break point as a main event wrestler. Very compelling.

Macyk: Alexa Bliss vs. Becky Lynch. Becky Lynch’s pursuit of the Smackdown Women’s Championship is of course a reference to the 1916 Easter Rising, the first armed action of the Irish revolutionary period. Alexa Bliss is small but powerful, much like the island nation of Great Britain. This should be a good match.

Which SmackDown roster member that isn’t on the card should be?

Corrigan: Heath Slater’s kids should battle the Usos’ many relatives on the pre-show.

Cross: In kayfabe, Apollo Crews is getting what he deserves after being repeatedly beaten up by Baron Corbin. In reality, I’m wondering what he’s done wrong.

Gibb: I had to look at the roster to answer this question, so I don’t know that anybody got horrifically snubbed. American Alpha would benefit a lot from having a solid win on the undercard of a show like this, though, so they’re my choice.

Macyk: Sami Zayn.

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